What Stephen King isn’t
There are lots of writers who tell it like it is, but only a few who, with such commitment and intensity, tell it like it isn’t. King takes the weird and gives it weight. And yet, at the same time, his novels retain a lightness, a playfulness. They show us horrible things, but they also glow, I think, with King’s joy—with his pleasure and exhilaration in imagining.” — from the article, “What Stephen King isn’t”, Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker
[image borrowed from http://www.telegraph.co.uk ]
How to get flat abs, have amazing sex, and rule the world in eight easy steps
Since it’s a Monday and we all need reminding about how to live life the best way we know how. Read the link for the full list.
Some important ones for me, because these are the lessons that are hardest to follow:
2. Be happy now.
Not because The Secret says so. Not because of some shiny happy Oprah crap. But because we can choose to appreciate what is in our lives instead of being angry or regretful about what we lack. It’s a small, significant shift in perspective. It’s easier to look at what’s wrong or missing in our lives and believe that is the big picture — but it isn’t. We can choose to let the beautiful parts set the tone.
3. Look at the stars.
It won’t fix the economy. It won’t stop wars. It won’t give you flat abs, or better sex or even help you figure out your relationship and what you want to do with your life. But it’s important. It helps you remember that you and your problems are both infinitesimally small and conversely, that you are a piece of an amazing and vast universe. I do it daily — it helps.
4. Let people in.
Truly. Tell people that you trust when you need help, or you’re depressed — or you’re happy and you want to share it with them. Acknowledge that you care about them and let yourself feel it. Instead of doing that other thing we sometimes do, which is to play it cool and pretend we only care as much as the other person has admitted to caring, and only open up half way. Go all in — it’s worth it.
7. Practice gratitude.
Practice it out loud to the people around you. Practice it silently when you bless your food. Practice it often. Gratitude is not a first world only virtue. I saw a photo recently, of a girl in abject poverty, surrounded by filth and destruction. Her face was completely lit up with joy and gratitude as she played with a hula hoop she’d been given. Gratitude is what makes what we have enough. Gratitude is the most basic way to connect with that sense of being an integral part of the vastness of the universe; as I mentioned with looking up at the stars, it’s that sense of wonder and humility, contrasted with celebrating our connection to all of life.
25 jokes only book nerds will understand
Some of these were funny in a book-nerd sort of way, some were clever and some went over my head. Apparently, I am not enough of a book nerd as I thought… Or maybe I read the wrong kinds of books.
Watercolor portraits of fictional heroines
I know I should be writing more original entries. I’m coasting, I know. But I can’t help posting about this article. It’s about the book, Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines. I would love to own this book! The artwork is gorgeous as is the depiction of the women. That’s Holly Golightly above from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I love that Nancy Drew is in here, too! Wonder who else is included? See more of the artwork here.
I’ll definitely be watching out for this in the bookstore when it comes out (and screw the book debt!).
[image borrowed from The Cut]
Geekery: The Pixar Theory
Saw this while I was surfing the internets yesterday and it’s geeky and strange enough to capture my interest, which is why I’m linking it here. Basically, if you click on the link above, Jon Negroni’s theory posits that all Pixar movies are interconnected in terms of timelines, storylines, motivations, etc… It’s actually pretty compelling. Now I want to watch all the Pixar movies in order of the theory, haha!
For a capsule version of the theory, here’s the timeline: The Pixar Theory timeline. But do read the whole theory. It’s interesting, promise!
[image borrowed from http://www.jonnegroni.com
30 pieces of dating advice from literature
Some gems from this link:
“I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.” – Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami
“Women fall in love when they get to know you. Men are just the opposite. When they finally know you they’re ready to leave.” — Dusk and Other Stories, James Salter
“The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.” — Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” — The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
“The only obsession everyone wants: ‘love.’ People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.”
“The only obsession everyone wants: ‘love.’ People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.” — The Dying Animal, Philip Roth
The link above lists seven types of hashtag abusers, which one are you?
I seldom use hashtags. Not for any “noble” “holier-than-thou” reason; I was (still am) just too lazy to tag what I post online. I figured, if my stuff gets seen/read, then fine. If not, then fine too. Digital (not biological) determination by way of social media. Survival of the digital fittest. I do use it from time to time when I’m trying to be funny, sarcastic or self-deprecating, but it was just such a bother that most of the time, I don’t. I did think hashtagging got out of hand though when I started seeing hashtags like #fun and #food in posts.
Don’t get me wrong. Used sparingly and efficiently, a hashtag is useful for clariying tone, injecting subtext, playfuling rejiggering text, as the article states — or in my case, directing sarcasm (at myself) and attempting to be ironic. To quote the article, which quotes writer Slate deputy editor Julia Turner, “[T]he hashtag gives the writer the opportunity to comment on his own emotional state, to sarcastically undercut his own tweet, to construct an extra layer of irony, to offer a flash of evocative imagery or to deliver metaphors with striking economy.”
But the article leaves us with a question: “But is [the hashtag] too much of a cheat? A gimmick that stops us from going deeper, thinking harder, or expressing ourselves more fully and clearly?” You tell me.
[image from article in nymag.com]